When I finish my day’s work as Head of Qualified Finance at Sewell Wallis, I start another day’s work at home–raising 8-year-old triplet boys.
My situation is fairly unique, having three children at the same age. The after-school activities and homework are multiplied by three–and this week, it’s been the school holidays multiplied by three.
Surviving the school holidays involves being super organised and juggling childcare between family and holiday clubs. I also think people's expectations have changed since Covid–as we spent a lot of time on Teams calls with children and pets in the background, clients and candidates normally expect the same in the holidays!
Happily, I have been able to find a balance between work and family. Sewell Wallis has a very supportive culture, enabling me to work part-time and flexibly, so I can manage school drop-offs and collections, which is really important to me. Because some days the children may need to be at home, I normally start very early, then maybe work extra hours in the evening.
I wish I’d known how much my multi-tasking skills would need to improve when I became a working mum–and I wish I’d understood that companies can be flexible. It’s really important to have an honest and open conversation with managers from the offset, especially when returning on a part time basis.
In our business, some of the key directors are also working parents, so they fully understand the challenges. We put a plan together on what was achievable, and we constantly review it. Two-way flexibility is the only way to make this work.
I think it's crucial for employers to understand that there will be days that everything has to be dropped at work to collect a sick child, or there’s a school concert or sports day to attend. I’m very fortunate that I have a great relationship with my managers, who trust that whatever hours I miss, I always make up.
I’m also very fortunate that my husband is in a role where he has flexibility, so we are able to share the challenges of being working parents.
But I’m keenly aware that not all working mothers are so lucky. Motherhood is such a common human experience—yet it’s still a huge diversity and inclusion issue.
In the future, I hope to see a world where no working mum has to face employment bias. Working mothers are entitled to the same opportunities as their peers!
If you are interested in learning more about what makes Sewell Wallis special – reach out to Sue Wallis today.